Syllabus – CLAS/HIST 1061

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Current Students: For the most up-to-date syllabus, please refer to your Desire2Learn course shell for CLAS/HIST 1061.


Required Textbook

  • Boatwright, Mary T. et al. The Romans From Village to Empire: A History of Rome from the Earliest Times to the End of the Western Empire. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 2011. (ISBN 978-0199730575)


Recommended for Further Study

  • Ward, Allen M. et al. A History of the Roman People. 5th ed. Prentice Hall, 2009.
  • Mellor, Ronald. The Historians of Ancient Rome: An Anthology of the Major Writings. 2nd ed. Routledge, 2004.


Grade Breakdown 

  • Attendance – 10%
  • Ancient Author Quizzes – 20%
  • Online Gladiator Analysis – 20%
  • Midterm Exam – 25%
  • Final Exam – 25%


Ancient Author Quizzes

There will be an additional reading most weeks that is from an ancient, primary source. These readings will be accompanied by introduction to the author, the topic, and themes/questions for consideration. All of this can be found on the course website, and each reading will be available for download on D2L. There will be four required quizzes/responses to these readings over the course of the semester. You will have 30 minutes to complete your response. Each quiz will cover the readings studied since the prior quiz. All assessments are to be completed individually. No group work, cheating, or plagiarism will be tolerated. These actions will result in an automatic F.



Please be on time and present in lecture every week. Attendance is critical for your success on assessments. The exams will also depend largely on lecture material. You may receive two excused absences over the course of the semester. However, I must be informed of your absence prior to class on the day you intend to be gone. I will not post lectures online, so you will be responsible for getting missed notes from your classmates. It is also essential that you attend class and take careful notes.


READING AND ONLINE STUDY SCHEDULE (Text in red = readings and study content available on D2L)


UNIT I – The Republic

Week 1:

  • Course Introduction
  • The Beginnings of Rome (The Regal Period)


  • Boatwright et al Chap 1, “Archaic Italy and the Origins of Rome”
  • Ancient Author Study: Livy’s “Rome’s First King”


Week 2:

  • Establishing a Republican Empire
  • The Punic Wars (An Introduction)


  • Boatwright et al Chap 2, “Republican Rome and the Conquest of Italy”
  • Ancient Author Study: Livy’s “The Rape of Lucretia”


Week 3:

  • Hannibal v. Rome

Readings: Ancient Author Study: Livy’s Hannibal (Book 21)


Week 4:

  •  The Macedonian Wars
  • Emerging Roman Elites   [ANCIENT AUTHOR QUIZ 1]


  • Boatwright et al Chap 3, “The Beginnings of a Mediterranean Empire”
  • Boatwright et al Chap 4, “Italy and Empire”


Week 5:

  • Murder and Massacre in the 2nd Century BCE
  • The Rise of Sulla


  • Boatwright et al Chap 5, “Italy Threatened, Enfranchised, Divided”
  • Ancient Author Study: Plutarch’s Sulla


Week 6:

  • Pompey, Mithridates, and the First Triumvirate
  • NO LECTURE TODAY: Travis at a conference in Philadelphia


  • Boatwright et al Chap 6, “The Domination of Sulla and Its Legacy”
  • Ancient Author Study: Sallust’s The Conspiracy of Catiline


Week 7:

  • All Hail Caesar!
  • The Death of Caesar


  • Boatwright et al Chap 7, “End of Republic: Caesar’s Dictatorship”
  • Ancient Author Study: Caesar’s Civil War (Part III)


Week 8:

  • Midterm Exam Review    [ANCIENT AUTHOR QUIZ 2]


UNIT II – The Empire

Week 9:

  • Octavian to Augustus
  • Augustan Rome


  • Boatwright et al Chap 8, “Augustus and the Transformation of the Roman World”
  • Ancient Author Study: Res Gestae Divi Augusti


Week 10:

  • The Julio-Claudians
  • Engineering An Empire: Augustus’s Successors


  • Boatwright et al Chap 9, “The Early Principate, The Julio-Claudians, The Civil War, and Life in the Empire”
  • Ancient Author Study: Suetonius’ Nero


Week 11:

  • The Flavians
  • Trajan


  • Boatwright et al Chap 10, “Institutionalization of the Principate”
  • Ancient Author Study: Tacitus’ Histories (Book 5)
  • Ancient Author Study: Josephus’ The Jewish Wars (Chap. 22)


Week 12:

  • Hadrian  [ANCIENT AUTHOR QUIZ 3]

Readings: Boatwright et al Chap 11, “Italy and the Provinces: Civil and Military Affairs (138-235)”


Week 13:

  • The Antonines
  • The Severans              [GLADIATOR FILM ANALYSIS DUE]


  • Boatwright et al Chap 12, “The Third-Century Crisis and the Tetrarchic Restabilization”
  • Ancient Author Study: Eusebius’ Life of Constantine


Week 14:

  • The Third Century and Tetrarchy
  • Constantine and the Rise of Christianity


  • Boatwright et al Chap 13, “The Rise of Christianity and the Growth of the Barbarian Threat (324-395)”
  • Ancient Author Study: Ammianus Marcellinus (Book 31)


Week 15:

  • The “Fall” of Rome
  • Final Exam Review       [ANCIENT AUTHOR QUIZ 4]

Readings: Boatwright et al Chap 14, “The Final Years of the Western Empire and Rome’s Revival in the East”






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